Take-Two Signs Rockstar's Housers, Benzies To Long-Term Deal
In a report released by Take-Two detailing the company's fourth quarter and 2011 fiscal year financial results, the publisher dropped some big news. The company announced that Rockstar heads Sam Houser and Dan Houser, as well as Leslie Benzies, the president of Grand Theft Auto development house Rockstar North and lead producer on the GTA titles, have signed long-term contracts with the publisher.
The statement reads: "Sam Houser, Dan Houser and Leslie Benzies, key members of the creative team of Rockstar Games, have agreed to renew their long-term employment agreements with the Company on substantially similar economic terms. This team has been instrumental in the development and success of Take-Two's extensive portfolio of multi-million unit internally-owned franchises."
This is big news for Take-Two, a company that's constantly the focus of rumors insisting that it's the target of acquisition by a larger game publisher, most notably Electronic Arts (which tried and failed to acquire Take-Two in 2008) and Activision. The Housers are generally perceived to be the visionaries behind the company and its groundbreaking titles. Benzies, despite a low media profile, might be the man most responsible for the continued success and high quality of the GTA series. Any company looking to acquire Rockstar would want to be sure that these key people were locked down into long-term contracts. Prior to this announcement, the Housers were operating under contract that was set to expire at the end of January 2012.